Peninsula parents demand more school funding amid closure fears

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (KGO) -- Hundreds of parents rallied across six school districts in the Peninsula are demanding Governor Gavin Newsom increase public school funding.

The grassroots organization, Stand Up For Public Schools was organized early this year by parents concerned about school closures. They've been gathering signatures and calling their state representatives, demanding the following :

-Negotiate for bigger increase in General Fund expenditure for K-14 (K-12 and community college) in this year's budget.

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-Support K-12 public school supplement for regional cost of living in the state budget starting in 2019-2020

-Support Assembly Bill 39, increase the funding targets for K-12 per pupil in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)

"We've been getting huge support from parents because our parents move to our community because they want to support our public schools and they are shocked how hard up we are for funding," said Michelle Nayfack, a parent organizer.

California currently ranks 41st in per-pupil spending in the US and 50th in Student:Teacher ratio.

"I live in a rent controlled apartment in San Francisco, if I were to lose my apartment, I don't know if I'd be able to stay in this area," said Dan Liner, an elementary school teacher at Brittan Acres in San Carlos.

"Our teachers start at $50k and then after a 23 year career and then some educational units, you can get up to $103,000," he said.

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He said the pay is demoralizing, considering his level of education and his years of experience.

Ashley Brown, a teacher at Arundel Elementary, is also a mom. She worries about the day she might have to move because she can no longer afford Bay Area prices on a teacher's salary.

"I have a 2 year old and I'm expecting another .. that at a certain point we might not be able to sustain living in the area," she said.

San Carlos Superintendent Michelle Harmeier also attended the rally.

"The state is intentionally under-funding state education and that's how it feels to us right now. We're the 5th largest economy in the world, not just in the country but our statistics are dismal," she said.
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